Chris Gianatti Director

Chris worked for a number of years with Corrs before moving in-house to Telstra as HR Legal Counsel for the “”Factory”” (covering Telstra’s back of house operations including the field workforce). In that role he was also a key strategic advisor to Telstra’s COEs for Workplace Relations, Talent&OD and Remuneration, as well as also being a major advisor to Payroll, Vendor Management and Corporate Security on employment issues.  Prior to joining KHQ, Chris was a partner at a national workplace relations boutique based in Melbourne.

“A leading industrial relations expert … with deep knowledge of the law underpinned by a strong industrial and commercial perspective”
– Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019

Chris’ expertise spans the full range of industrial and employment matters including:

  • project IR, enterprise bargaining and workplace strategy
  • major disputes and industrial litigation (including good faith litigation, right of entry, protected action and pickets)
  • corporate performance, policy, change management and productivity
  • executive contracts, remuneration and restraints
  • employment litigation (including adverse action, unfair dismissal, bullying and EEO)
  • OHS and incident prosecution defences, and
  • workplace surveillance and privacy.

Chris regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission, as well as in the Federal and State courts nationally. While based in Melbourne, his practice often takes him to Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, with his major clients spread across a range of industries including resources, infrastructure, construction, banking, manufacturing, transport, media, professional services and retail.

Client feedback typically emphasises Chris’ value-driven approach based on genuinely different insight, simple advice and practical outcomes-focused steps.


Chris has received the following recognition:

  • Doyles Guide – Recommended – Leading Employment Lawyers (Employer Representation) Victoria (2018-2020).
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific:  Leading Individual – Band 1 – Employment (Australia) – 2015-2020.
  • Chambers & Partners – Asia Pacific Guide 2019 & 2020 – Employment Law.
  • The Best Lawyers™ in Australia for Labour & Employment Law – 2018-2021.
  • Lexology Client Choice: Winner – Employment & Benefits (Australia) – 2015-2017.


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Latest News & Insights

Redundancy – Court rules on ‘ordinary and customary turnover of labour’ exception

Posted By and on 17/08/20 at 6:11 PM

In a significant decision, Rares and Collier JJ (with whom Rangiah J “broadly” agreed) have held in the case of Berkeley Challenge Pty Ltd v United Voice [2020] FCAFC 113 (Decision) (available here) that long-standing employees dismissed when long-standing contracts that had been the basis for the work that they were employed to do ended … Read more

Workplace Relations – COVID-19 FAQs

Posted By and on 24/03/20 at 10:00 PM

COVID-19 will cause significant disruption to your workforce, if it hasn’t already, and we have over the last few weeks been regularly speaking with many of you about particular challenges that are arising as the situation progresses. Managing the increasing levels of public anxiety alone requires strong leadership and clear messaging to maintain stability in … Read more

Workplace Relations Q2 update: wage theft, non-standard work, travel time, labour hire and a Merry Christmas!

IN THIS UPDATE:  with Woolworths in the spotlight the era of ‘wage theft’ continues, we have the latest non-standard work (labour hire and gig work) developments, we had an important industrial ruling on travel time, there is a labour hire licensing update for Victoria, news on the varied Modern Awards and some new FWC forms … Read more

Employment law issues in the food & beverage industry

Posted By and on 22/11/19 at 7:39 PM

Over the last 12-18 months we have seen demand in the food & beverage industry accelerate in all sectors, tempered only by the horrifying drought which continues to cause enormous pain in so many parts of the industry. Against this current struggle, we have observed that the long-term cycle still creates incredible incentive to revitalise … Read more

Q1 Update: minimum wage, modern awards, labour hire & more

Posted By on 29/10/19 at 1:32 PM

IN THIS UPDATE: Mondelez v AMWU, minimum wage changes, modern awards, enterprise bargaining, labour hire licensing, the SKM appeal case, and recent developments in industrial manslaughter. The financial year is well underway and with the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court in Mondelez v AMWU [2019] FCAFC 138, it really has started with a … Read more